Prevent Injury of overuse or over-throwing
A recent study showed that young baseball players, especially pitchers, who overuse their throwing arm by throwing or pitching too many innings are at risk of injury. It found that pitchers who:
- Regularly pitch through arm fatigue are 36 times more likely to sustain and injury
- Throw more than eight months per year are five times more likely to sustain an injury requiring surgery
- Throw more than 80 pitches per game are nearly four times more likely to sustain injury requiring surgery
The most common injuries caused by overuse and/or improper mechanics among young baseball players include: “Little league shoulder” (shoulder instability). Shoulder (labral) and elbow (ulnar collateral) ligament tears and strains that could lead to surgery.
Sports Physical Therapists recommend these tips for preventing injury:
- Pain is not normal in the elbow or shoulder. Never throw through pain.
- Don’t pitch year-round. Take a minimum of 2-3 months off.
- Play other sports in the off season, but give the arm a rest.
- Abide by pitch counts/inning pitched in every game.
- Develop proper mechanics as early as possible.
- Warm up, stretch and condition before throwing.
- Seek a doctor or physical therapist is pain persists.
- Undergo a video throwing analysis to determine how changes in mechanics might reduce your risk of injury.